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and of the second quarto, is, perhaps, right-it is an occasion, a period that I have not yet turned my thoughts to.—Juliet, in her present state of mind, would neither regard marriage as any honour really, nor term it so sarcastically; and as to the reply of the nurse, if any consistency could be expected in her responses; “ hour” seems at least as applicable as “honour”-hour! cries she, your wit or understanding is not of an hour's date, it was born with you, and attended you in the cradle. “ Hour," for “ occasion,” occurs in Macbeth: “ Time and the hour runs through the roughest
day.” 41. “ Examine every married lineament.”
“Married” is certainly right; and is rightly explained by Mr. Steevens; it means suitable, accordant, adapted to each other; thus Milton;
They led the vine " To wed her elm; she, spous'd, about him twines “ Her marriageable arms.”
Paradise Lost, Book V. 43. “ The fish lives in the sea,” &c.
These silly conceits, which are not in the first quarto, and probably were never Shakspeare's, are hardly worth a comment, but I suppose the meaning, such as it is, to be this : Lady Capulet has called Paris a book, a book that has “an explanatory margin,” and is every way complete, except that “it lacks a cover,” which cover is to be Juliet, enclosing and binding him in wedlock; and, as that crystal fluid the sea is observed to improve the beauty of the fish which swims in it, So, says she, will you have the praise and the ho
nour that belongs to you, as clasping and enfolding the excellence of Paris ; and that excellence itself will become more conspicuous in being adorned by the graces which you will give it.
“ But no more deep will I endart mine eye,
This is very obscurely expressed : I believe all that Juliet means is, I shall look upon him with no more earnestness of attention than is merely my obedience to your desire.
47. “ So stakes me to the ground,” &c.
The twelve lines following, added since the first quarto, would, perhaps, be better omitted. 49.“ - I am proverb’d with a grandsire
phrase, “ I'll be a candle-holder, and look on." This old proverb is the maxiin to which I will adhere. 56. “ Her waggon-spokes made of long spinnersa
leg's.” Here is a nominative case without a verb: the first quarto gives the line thus : “Her waggon-spokes are made of spinners’ webs.”
We should read : “ Her waggon-spokes are made of spinners' legs." Again:
“ Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat."
The construction requires the verb is after "waggoner,” as we find it in the first quarto, where Mercutio's speech differs, in other respects, from the present text; “ The traces are the moonshine's watrie beames ; " The collars, crickets' bones; the lash of filmes: “Her waggoner is a small gray-coated flie, “Not halfe so big as is the little worm " Pickt from the lasie finger of a maide, “And in this sorte she gallops up and downe “ Through louers' braines, and then they dream
of loue : “ O'er courtiers' knees, who straight on cursies
“ O'er ladies' lips, who dreame on kisses straight.”
&c. &c. “ Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose."
All the editors, by a strange concurrence, agree in calling this the old reading ; whereas, in the first quarto (1597), we find it, "Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawer's lap,” Which agrees better with the line following: " And then dreams he of smelling out a suit."
The repetition, which cannot be avoided without removing a line, is alike offensive in either case. I suppose the poet intended the rejection of the first line, but omitted to strike it out of the copy. 56. “ O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream
on fees." I wish there were authority for reading "doc
tors' fingers,” which would save the speech from
The first quarto:
This repetition of “nose,” which we had a line or two before, together with the reading of that line in the earliest copy, persuades me that the former line was
“ Sometimes she gallops o’er a lawyer's lip.”
This has relation to the lawyer's loquacity, and the change of a letter at the press may easily be supposed, and is frequently happening. 60. “ Puffs away from thence.”
The first quarto, much better, both as to sense and expression,
“ Puffs away in haste.” " Expire the term “Of a despised life,” &c. The quarto reads " expiers,” which forms better concord, and probably means, the term expires, according to a mode of speech not unusual, though perhaps improper.
64. “ Ladies, that have their toes
“Unplagu'd with corns." What induced Mr. Pope to insert feet, in the
place of “ toes,” I cannot guess. It is on the toes, properly, and not on the feet, that corns generally grow; and it might as well be said that a band, instead of a finger, was plagued with a whitlow, as that a foot was plagued with corns. But whatever was the poetical editor's motive for the change, I cannot suppose it to have been what Mr. Malone ascribes-delicacy; for where is the delicacy or indelicacy of either foot or toe, any more than of hand or finger?
Milton, the most delicate of poets, in L'Alegro has, in the same sense as that of Capulet,
“ Come and trip it as you go, .“ On the light fantastic toe."
Which of you all “ Will now deny to dance? she that makes
dainty, (she,) “ I'll swear, hath corns.”
The repetition of " she,” in this passage, is a careless insertion at the press, or of the transcriber. 68.“ So shews a snowy dove trooping with
crows." The recurrence of similar sounds, which spoils the euphony of this line, shew-snow-crow, is a fault that, at least, is diminished in the first quarto, which reads, “So shines a snow-white swan, trooping with
crows,” A swan among ravens is a familiar phrase, denoting high pre-eminence:
“ A snowy dove." With all my partiality for the dove, I incline